The man who gave us truthiness, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert, has created a bit of a Twitter craze while lampooning a senator.
The comic's @StephenAtHome posted more than 40 outrageous "nonfacts" on Tuesday followed by the hashtag "#NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement."
As in: "Jon Kyl can unhinge his jaw like a python to swallow small rodents whole. #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement."
The hashtag gag then caught on, inspiring thousands of imitators and retweeters.
The office of the Arizona Republican actually originated the phrase while brushing off criticism of his recent claim in the Senate that "if you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood, and that's well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does."
"Now the actual number happens to be 3 percent," the comic said on Tuesday's Colbert Report, explaining his decision "to celebrate Jon Kyl's excuseplanation . . . by tweeting round-the-clock nonfacts about him."
The first: "Jon Kyl is one of Gaddafi's sexy female ninja guards #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement."
Later examples: "Jon Kyl has a shrine to Scooter from the Muppet Show" . . . "Jon Kyl once ate a badger he hit with his car" . . . "Once a year, Jon Kyl retreats to the Arizona desert and deposits 2 million egg sacs under the sand."
Other tweeters joined in with the likes of "Jon Kyl's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus," "jon kyl wrote the script for the last episode of seinfeld," and "Jon Kyl goes to strip clubs just for the food."
All ending with #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement, of course.
The number of related tweets was "unprecetweeted," reaching about 42 per minute, "which incidentally is the rate at which Jon Kyl catapults puppies into the sea," Colbert said, as "Not Intended To Be A Factual Statement" reappeared on TV screens.
A check this afternoon found the rate was up to more than 50 a minute.
Requests for comment were made to Kyl's offices.